THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Sunday, December 21, 2003

Yeah, elections will go off without a hitch here

Samarra lies in the heart of the Sunni triangle, the area of land west and north-west of Baghdad where resistance is fiercest. Cities such as Samarra, along with Tikrit, Bayji, Falluja and Ramadi, have become battle zones where US soldiers have died and hundreds more have been wounded. The Sunni tribes who live in the region benefited most from Saddam's reign. Now, stripped of the privileges and power that the Baathist regime brought them, they are fighting hard.

The reason, Al-Alawi said, was simple. 'If there is one thing worse than Saddam, it is being invaded by the foreigners. Especially American foreigners.'

Columns of tanks now prowl the 'liberated' city 24 hours a day, kicking up the dust, scattering children. Roads are randomly closed and rolls of barbed wire laid by the Fourth Infantry Division, the unit that captured Saddam. Local Iraqi police paramilitaries screen all cars, wearing balaclavas to hide their features. One local doctor, Aisar Al-Samarrai, complained that his clinic was regularly hit by gunfire.

According to Sheikh Adnan Thabit, who sits on the town's religious council, 'there is a now a full stand-off between the resistance and the Americans'.

Humvee-mounted patrols comb the sand-coloured residential areas street by street, house by house. Every dawn there are raids. Some 120 suspects were arrested last week. The resistance mounts daily attacks, gaining in sophistication. Once it was small-arms fire, now it is mines and bombs. Earlier this month a convoy delivering new 'Saddam-free' currency to a bank was ambushed. The Americans claim they killed between 40 and 58 resistance fighters. Locals say the dead were mostly innocent civilians and some Iranian pilgrims.

Graffiti all over the city make the sentiments clear. 'Spies: hide your faces now ... Tomorrow we will show who you are,' says one. Some slogans, 'American soldiers: Our armed struggle continues without end endlessly' are in English. Another, similar, message scrawled across a school wall, was promptly demolished by a tank.

The resistance in Samarra is not hard to find. In a side street is 'Hasni', with regulation leather jacket and machine gun. He told The Observer why he had taken up arms. 'This is not Tikrit. This is not a Baath Party city. We in Samarra are the oldest tribe of Iraq, and Saddam was afraid to come here. We are fighting a foreigner, not for Saddam, not for Islam, but for Samarra and Iraq.'

'Hasni' stressed it would be unfair to 'criticise the Americans for everything they do'. 'When they do good, we must say so. But they are making a big mistake to put back into power all the corrupt people and treat us as slaves and try to steal our economy. While they try this, we have lost our wealth and have many young men without work.'

Hasni's comrade, Mahmoud, adds: 'Each time they kill a civilian, they make a fighter in that person's family. Day after day, they are creating more resistance.'


Perfect conditions for free and fair elections. Hell, the US doesn't and can't control this town, after running a brigade through it.

posted by Steve @ 12:54:00 AM

12:54:00 AM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans